Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. II.] A Tour round Old East-Bourne.                  21
afforded by the lamps of the carriages and flys which
were in attendance. In spite of this mischance—
" ftfytxt Jfoas a smutir of xtbtlrg &g nicfyt ;
" guttr all hunt nurrg as a marriage bxll."—(Byron).
I always had a great fancy for moonlight parties. We had one at Noi^thfield Grange on July 9, 1897, at which we mustered 115 people ; and another on July 21, 1899, with 64 guests, supper being served at several tables on the lawn or in the woods—but this is a digression.
There was one other private house at Meads, built at a later date, noteworthy in respect of the strange lady who occupied it for many years and who died only a year or two ago the Comtesse De Noailles, the widow of a French Count, but herself of English birth. She also, like Mr. Caldecott, was somewhat of a "crank," especially in her dress. She used to go about in flowing garments like a Bedouin Arab and with only sandals on her feet, but she was kind to the poor, and liberal in the distribution of her money, though it was distributed on somewhat fanciful lines. For instance she gave £1000 to the Anti-Vaccinationists ; and promised £1000 for the erection of a clock on St. John's Church, but some unreasonable condition was attached to the gift (I forget wThat it was) and her offer fell through.
The Countess died in December 1908, and left her Meads estate and two-thirds of her residuary estate to found on the estate an orphanage for daughters of clergy of the Church of England, to be called " St. Mary's Orphanage." The chief aim is to provide helpers or sisters to aid in the promotion of good works, and the first object must be to give " abundance of health." The religious instruction is always to be in accordance with the principles of the Church of England. The testatrix left many directions as to the education of the children, among them that " no child under ten years of age shall be taught arithmetic except the multiplication tables (vide Herbert Spencer)." No girl defective in mind or body is to be admitted, and every candidate is to be examined by two fully-qualified phrenologists separately and
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